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News & Events

Pews looking for a new home

We have five wood pews and three front row panels with removable kneelers that were taken out of the sanctuary two years ago when we did the remodel of the altar area. They are currently in the Parish Hall and we need them moved out of there so we can start the next part of the remodeling of that area.

Would you like to have one of these FREE items in your house, basement, patio, business or garden?  All items vary in length from 8 ft to 10 ft.

Contact the Church Office before Fri. Dec. 4 if you’re interested.  She can also help with arranging a truck to move them.

Five Wood Pews:
 

Three Front Row Panels (removable kneelers):

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Online Services

11/29/2020 Advent 1 Morning Prayer Service

Fr. Eliacín leads the congregation in the Morning Prayer Service. John Gray and Deacon Liz Van Dyke lead the readings. 

Carrie Beede leads the congregation in worship through some traditional Advent Hymns.

A video clip of The Rev. Becca Stevens invites us into an Advent reflection on Longing.

Link to PDF version of the Service Bulletin: https://bit.ly/2Jd6OdN

Link to Online Giving & Offering: https://bit.ly/366HvDM

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Pastor's Blog

What are you grateful for in these strange days in the wilderness?

A Prayer of Thanksgiving 
by Walter Rauschenbusch, 1861–1918

For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses.
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.
Dear Ones,

For the last month, I have been looking for alternatives to the questions “how are you?” That simple question that we would ask people when we see them has become a very complicated one to ask and answer. If we are honest, we would say that most of us are not doing well these days. The compound heaviness of many months of the Pandemic, a stressful Election season, and the changes for many of family plans for the Holidays are leaving us sore, tired, sad, and exhausted. All very valid feelings.

A question that I am trying with some people as an alternative to “How are you?” is “what expectation of normal are you letting go of?” Letting go is not easy, yet it is necessary for new things to come. Letting go allows us to be open to what God might be bringing about, for the holy unexpected. My family and I are letting go of the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with extended family. It will be a small household celebration. The decision brought up tears and grief. My children were mad at this decision, not as us discerning its need and making it, but at the fact that yet, one more thing was taken away from them by the Pandemic.

I believe our hearts are big enough to hold sadness and gratitude at once.

What expectation of normal at you letting go? Keep awake because the holy unexpected might surprise you as you let go of what is normal.

My family has adopted a little ritual of thanksgiving before dinner in which each one of us goes around saying one thing we are grateful for from the day. It is the simple things that we have come to cherish and be grateful for the most these days, things like: the yard fire pit, Minecraft (video game), the British Baking Show, warm socks, a phone call from a friend, a recently found new book series, the people at Thursday Bible Study, work at McDonald’s, a tickle fight, a working dishwasher, dark chocolate, a good belly laugh, the health of family members, the gift of strong leaders in our church, the support of the Bishop, carry out pizza on hectic nights, for hope, faith, and love.

What are you grateful for in these strange days in the wilderness?

About Community Kitchen: I was informed that some rumors are going around about St. John’s ending its collaboration with Community Kitchen (CK). That is an unfounded rumor, and it is absolutely false. St. John’s continues in relationship with Community Kitchen.

Early in March, we stopped all activities happening in our building as a way to discern appropriate measures to protect people using our building from the COVID-19 outbreak in our area. In April, I began conversations with the President of Community Kitchen and St. John’s representative, Jackie Grove, with a request and a share of best practices to have CK serving from our building while having a protocol of precaution and prevention. The outcome of that conversation was that a CK protocol was to be developed by May. However, the CK board put those plans on a pause during the Summer, with some people related to Community Kitchen still serving from the street.

Not long after that, the building work began full force preventing the building’s use for any groups.

Our Junior Warden, Dawn Wheatley, has been in communications with all external groups, including CK, with building updates.

At no point has the Vestry, nor our faithful SJ representatives in the CK board (Jackie and Tom Schelfhout), nor I as Rector, made any decisions to terminate our partnership with Community Kitchen. Be assured of that.

See additional note below from Jackie Grove.

Advent is coming: November 29 will be the First Sunday in Advent. Included in this email is information about Advent Evening Gatherings activities for the Four Sundays in Advent. The gatherings are an opportunity to be together as a community. At the same time, we make way for the Messiah and prepare ourselves for the arrival of the Holy One who is to come. I encourage you to join the gatherings. As you can see, we will meet via Zoom, which is the best way for us to come together around a flat screen, that can also be a gathering table and a thin space for spiritual formation and community building. I invite you to reach out to others and to invite. Maybe even consider doing helping someone teach someone to use Zoom so they can participate.

I have two books to recommend to those who like to read a special book during advent.

A Weary World: Reflections of a Blue Christmas, by Kathy Escobar.
“During the holidays, so many of us can suffer for all kinds of reasons. The magnitude of our weary world weighs on our hearts and minds. We wrestle with chronic pain, broken relationships, shattered dreams, fragile faith, and unexpected losses. Our grief and sorrow feel particularly acute when compared to the festivity and joy everyone else seems to be feeling. More and more churches are acknowledging this fact with “Blue Christmas” services (also called Longest Night services) and offering resources to give particular support and comfort to those struggling during the most wonderful time of the year.

Kathy Escobar has been leading Blue Christmas experiences at her church for nearly a decade and just experienced her bluest season of all following the sudden death of her son. In A Weary World, Escobar provides twenty-eight daily reflections paired with prayers and practices to honor our struggles during the holidays.”

Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-us Then, Here and Now, by Scott Erickson
“From celebrated artist-storyteller Scott Erickson: 25 days of heart-stirring images and thought-provoking meditations to rekindle the wonder of God-with-Us in this season. Honest Advent creates a space for you to encounter the Incarnate Christ in unexpected places: like a pregnancy announcement in an era of political unrest and empirical bloodshed, the morning sickness of a Middle Eastern teenager, and the shocking biology of birth that goes far beyond the sanitized brand of Christmas as we know it.

Then, through powerful benedictions, prayers, and questions for honest reflection, you will discover how the wonder of God-with-Us is still happening today: in your unexpected change of plans, your unaccomplished dreams, your overcrowded lodging, your humble stories of new beginnings. In a world that’s difficult to make sense of, and a season that’s so often overtaken by consumerism, find here fresh eyes to see this powerfully sacred story.”

Black Jesus: Some of you have noticed on the Morning Prayers Videos, a very colorful painting of a Black Jesus hanging in my office. The painting is done on a canvas and will be moved to the Narthex once we are back using our building. All the iconography at St. John’s at this moment (icons, stain glass windows, crucifixes) expressed a white Eurocentric aesthetic. While beautiful, these representations are limited and when unquestioned can be damaging to our faith. We need more diverse images and representations of God’s people in our iconography. The painting of a Black Jesus invites us to imagine the incarnate God in the body of People of Color.

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Online Services

11/22/2020 | Morning Prayer Service

Fr. Eliacín leads the congregation in Morning Prayer Service and shares a reflection about gratitude. Deacon Liz and Jackie Grove lead the readings. Included is a music piece performed by St. Mark’s Cathedral Choir.

Link to PDF version of the Service Bulletin: https://bit.ly/2UFbax0

Link to Online Giving & Offering: https://bit.ly/366HvDM

 

Categories
Online Services

11/15/2020 Morning Prayer Service

Fr. Eliacín leads the congregation in Morning Prayer Service and shares a reflection on faith-filled generosity. Stay tuned at the end of the service video for an update tour on our building project provided by St. John’s Building Committee.

Link to PDF version of the Service Bulletin: https://bit.ly/2Uks3g3

Link to Online Giving & Offering: https://bit.ly/366HvDM

Categories
Online Services

11/8/2020 | Morning Prayer Service

Fr. Eliacín leads the congregation in Morning Prayer Service and shares a reflection on waiting for the Lord. Kim Eichner and Deacon Liz lead the readings.

Link to PDF version of the Service Bulletin: https://bit.ly/32e2dP9

Link to Online Giving & Offering: https://bit.ly/366HvDM

Categories
News & Events

Video Tour Update of St. John’s Building Project Fall 2020

In this video parishioner and Building Committee member, John Gray, takes us on a tour of the most recent updates in our building project.

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News & Events

As good or better than you found it – Stewardship Message from John First

 When I was a kid growing up in 1960’s Ohio, I was fortunate to always live close to the woods. I liked to explore those semi wild places with my older brother or friends and climb trees and turn over rocks looking for crayfish and salamanders. At other times we found tadpoles and frogs, a turtle, a bunny (for a day until it died of fright), a skunk, guppies to breed, a series of hamsters and a stuffed squirrel. I collected pond water to see what I could see through a magnifying lens and a microscope. I checked out the Little Golden Books on mammals, birds, fishes, pond life, trees, insects. I wanted to learn all about the world around me.
I liked to explore the woods and imagine what it must have been like when the Indians lived here and then the white pioneers. They had to be self-sufficient.  Making what they needed and living off the land. To survive you needed to learn the best type of wood for its intended purpose, which plants you use for food, or medicine, and which are poisonous. I wondered what the land must have looked like; the mixed hardwood forests that a squirrel could travel from the east coast to the Mississippi River without ever leaving the tree canopy, the prairie lands in parts of the state where buffalo grazed. Where the fish were thick enough in places in Lake Erie you could dip a net in the water and bring it up full of fish.
I became a Boy Scout because I wanted to be out in nature, to camp, to learn survival skills. I longed to be in those places where it felt special, where I was awed by the land. God’s country. There was no wilderness, no wildness left in Ohio, all us people had already gone and messed it all up. Scouting taught me an ethos of respect and gentleness and caring for the earth that was at odds with messages of exploitation and consumption I was also receiving from media and on the land. They used up all the best parts of the land and then just dumped what they had no more use for everywhere. That was just wrong! I think I understood then that I had a responsibility to be a steward of this world, of God’s world and his people, to care for God’s creation with loving kindness.
I make it a practice in my life to try to minimize my negative impact to the environment by using its resources wisely, living locally, growing our own food. I understand that I can’t really own the land I sleep on. I’m merely borrowing it. It’s a simple as my father taught me; ‘When you borrow something return it as good or better as you found it, and if you break it, fix it or replace it.’ That’s what Stewardship means to me. Trying to leave it better than when I found it, and fix what’s broken.
In St. John’s and the Episcopal Church, I have found a place where I can more fully realize that call. To care for the physically and spiritually needy, to speak out against injustice and work for change, to show God’s love and kindness in the world. I know what it means to be a good steward of St. John’s. It means our pledge keeps the lights and water on, pays the insurance, the cleaners, the nursery help, office staff. It pays the rector’s salary and housing. It means we can gather to worship in a special place and maintain and build new connections to our St. John’s community. It allows us to maintain a presence in Snohomish to fulfill our mission to act out God’s love in the world. It means we are charged with upholding a 2000-year-old faith tradition during our brief tenure as stewards of all that is God’s.
These things are the tangible result of our tithe. The lesson is in the giving. It is a lesson I never stop learning and relearning.

Blessings,

John First
Vestry Member

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News & Events

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon from Holding out for Hope 11/1/2020

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Pastor's Blog

Slow Down

This week, you may consider slowing down. Becoming present to Divine Presence all around you. Becoming present to your loved ones. Becoming present to your self, as God’s beloved.
 
Yes, these are anxious days. And yet, these are days full of beauty, and full of dreams of a just society where equality and wellness are possible.
 
Slow down.
Enumerate at least 5 things you are grateful for everyday.
Contact at least 1 person a day who bring you joy, or to whom you are the bringer of joy.
Breathe 3 intentional deep breaths when you feel anxious, one in the name of the Creator, one in the name of the Redeemer, one in the name of the Holy Sustainer.
Practice loving-kindness to self and others.
Unplugged from social media for a break from the ever-looming scrolling of doom
Fix something
clean that drawer that you have been meaning to clean for a long time
Play some music, in vinyl if you have them
Take a prayer walk in the morning, or bundled up and take prayer walk in the evening. Ground yourself to the eternal now with each step you take.
You have the power to turn off the TV and radio. Use that power.
Rest if you are tired.
Cook warm, nourishing, comforting meals.
Slow down.
Be present.
God is. God will be.